Sunday Pasta: Spaghetti alle Fragole (Pasta with Strawberries)
Wimbledon Schwimbledon. Feast on your eyes on this, the Italian version of strawberries and cream. I first saw spaghetti with strawberries a dozen or so years ago at a restaurant near the Vatican in Rome. I remember thinking: 1) disgusting, 2) I am very, very pleased with my spaghetti carbonara, and 3) I am sure am unadventurous. I still say who needs adventurous when you have a good (real) carbonara. But in the spirit of seasonal eating, I thought we should give it a (surprise) whirl.
This was my strategy at home with my unsuspecting family: “Open your mind. Close your eyes. Open your mouth. I’ve got a big surprise.” I inserted a forkful of Spaghetti alle Fragole into each of their mouths. Only one guessed right, but all said, “Mmm.” Careful now, the willing surprisee will only trust you once, so make it good. Luckily, this was a winner, so I will cook to surprise (and delight) again. I promise you, it would be enough to please our friend Yvette, former Strawberry Festival Princess from Ponchitoula, LA. (And she knows from strawberries.) So go for it. Crown yourself prince or princess of your very own strawberry festival, and watch as you surprise and delight. (Though I wouldn’t recommend it for breakfast or before tennis…)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 lb. spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1+ cup strawberries
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vodka
1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper
1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Place a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, mash most of the strawberries in a bowl, and slice a few for a final garnish. Over a low flame, melt the butter and olive oil together. When melted, add the strawberries and the vodka. Stir for about a minute and then add the cream, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. When the spaghetti is almost al dente, drain it, and mix into the strawberry mixture. After about a minute, add the Parmigiano. Serve immediately with a garnish of the remaining strawberries and a sprinkle of Parmigiano.
Check out our wine pairings for Spaghetti alle Fragole, as well as our About post on the origin behind it.
Ed Garrubbo, Editor